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Brexit update, plain packaging begins in Ireland, and first trademark ruling in Barbados: news round-up
In this round-up edition, we look at the latest Brexit developments from a trademark perspective, news on another solicitation scam, Hershey’s hawkish eye over the marijuana industry, and the result from the first ever trademark dispute in Barbados.
In Anchorage Capital Partners Pty Limited v ACPA Pty Ltd the Full Court of the Federal Court has considered competing claims to ownership of the trademark ANCHORAGE for financial services. The decision clarifies certain requirements for establishing a claim of ownership and provides additional guidance on when the own name defence will be available.
Good news for rights holders: SON and NAFDAC enter into partnership to tackle fake and substandard products
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control have entered into a partnership; the agencies will work in close collaboration to achieve the eradication of substandard and counterfeit products in the marketplace. Both agencies have expressed their commitment to work together where their duties overlap.
The 2018 PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Act, which aims to prohibit the unauthorised use of games-related symbols, logos and slogans, did not initially address the issue of ambush marketing, leading to some uncertainty as to whether ambush marketing activities might be tolerated. However, the government has now indicated its intention to regulate such activities by amending the act to add specific provisions on ambush marketing.
As national IP registries are encouraged to become innovation agencies and to offer non-core tools and services, we once again identify those leading the way and the offices trailing behind
Sweden considering prison for infringers, EUIPO switches banks and cops brandishing fake firearms: news round-up
In our latest news round-up, we look the Qatari government continuing its counterfeit crackdown, a cheese stand-off between the European Union and Mexico, how multimedia trademarks could transform the video game industry and reports of police in Pakistan using counterfeit firearms.
Letters of consent have been problematic in China, where brand owners often experience difficulty in obtaining such letters from local companies and having them accepted by the courts. However, there are encouraging signs that the situation is changing, which is good news for brand owners looking to protect their trademarks in the country. This update also provides a useful summary of what brand owners need to know when seeking to rely on letters of consent in China.
Democratising trademark data: ambitious call to create non-profit to develop global e-filing standards
In an exclusive guest post for World Trademark Review, the chief executive of IP docketing technology company Alt Legal urges IP offices to work towards, and adopt, universal standards in trademark data and electronics filings. To achieve this, he is calling for the creation of a non-profit organisation tasked with promoting and developing industry best standards in relation to e-filings and trademark databases.
In this week’s country data report, World Trademark Review inspects the trademark landscape in France. We delve into the country’s filing trends and analyse how its leading brands have performed in recent years.
JOY fails to prevent registration of HISPANITAS JOY IS A CHOICE despite enhanced distinctive character
In Jean Patou Worldwide v EUIPO the General Court has upheld a decision of the EUIPO First Board of Appeal, finding that there was no likelihood of confusion between the figurative mark HISPANITAS JOY IS A CHOICE and the earlier mark JOY for goods in Class 3. Among other things, the court rejected the allegation that the board had not sufficiently taken into account the enhanced distinctive character, acquired through use, of the earlier mark.
Slight change in defendant's registered mark found to infringe claimant's mark; court awards Rmb3 million in damages
The Zhongshan Intermediate Court has found that the registered trademark 了M, as used by its owner, did not constitute "standard use" of the registered trademark and infringed 3M Company’s registered trademark 3M. The transformation, through their actual use, of registered trademarks into infringing signs is becoming a real concern.
The USPTO has filed a petition for a rehearing en banc in In re: Brunetti, a decision it contends “invalidates a century-old provision of federal trademark law that renders trademarks containing ‘scandalous’ and ‘immoral’ matter ineligible for the benefits of federal registration”. The bid to maintain a ban on scandalous marks is one that practitioners will keenly follow. However, one legal expert told us that the government faces an “uphill battle” to reverse the Federal Circuit’s ruling.
A new circular published by the Ministry of Customs and Trade is helping rights holders to combat counterfeiting more effectively. Previously, Customs and the Liquidation Directorates did not consider whether smuggled goods were counterfeit, which meant that counterfeits often ended up on the market. With the new system, general customs applications also cover goods processed by the Liquidation Directorates, so there is no need for IP owners to file a separate application.
It was reported over the weekend that fashion brand Diesel has opened a pop-up store in New York selling so-called ‘fake fakes’. The move is part of a marketing campaign dubbed ‘Go with the Fake’, aimed at encouraging consumers to “wear whatever they want”. While the campaign is creating a lot of online buzz, some have contended that it is also glorifying counterfeit goods in the process.
The Moscow Arbitration Court has ruled that mark owners cannot prohibit the importation of authentic products, even if the goods are imported by unauthorised distributors. This ruling is in line with the Federal Anti-monopoly Service’s stance on parallel imports even though it appears to be contrary to Article 1484 of the Civil Code, according to which parallel imports constitute trademark infringement.
Why the authorities are taking a tougher stance on trademark infringement in the Chinese food industry
Thirteen defendants have been criminally prosecuted in Shanghai for selling goods under fake labels. The cases involved registered trademarks for imported fruit, including DOLE, ZESPRI and SUNKIST. It appears that the authorities are taking a tougher stance in cases involving counterfeit food, compared to cases where only commercial interests are involved.
General Court's METAPORN decision: why adult entertainment and telecommunication services are similar
In Sun Media Ltd v EUIPO, the General Court has confirmed that there was a likelihood of confusion between the mark METAPORN and earlier word and figurative marks consisting of the term 'META4'. Among other things, the court agreed with the EUIPO that the “adult entertainment services” covered by METAPORN in Class 41 and the "telecommunication services" covered by the earlier marks in Class 38 had at least a low degree of similarity.
The government has issued Executive Order 72/2018, effective as of January 12 2018, which contains amendments to the regulations on industrial property rights. One of the most important amendments is that the National Institute of Industrial Property rather than the federal courts will now decide whether an opposition is admissible. It will be possible to appeal such decisions before the Federal Court of Appeals.
In our latest news round-up we look at how the Zimbabwe government is hiring a technology company to tackle counterfeit goods, the brands being accused of using “underhand tricks” to fool consumers and a new report looking at the leading Chinese brands.
In Tan Kim Hock Product Centre Sdn Bhd v Tan KimHock Tong Seng Food Industry Sdn Bhd, the Federal Court has considered the scope and application of Section 9 of the new Trade Descriptions Act 2011. Among other things, the Federal Court held that Section 9 empowers the High Court to declare that goods are imitation goods in a trade description order.
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